Self Care for Creatives
Tips from our design team on taking care of yourself as a creative professional.
“Self care” is a term that has been making the rounds for the past few years but some important points are often overlooked. Self care is not about what products to buy or to feel shame about what we are or aren’t doing, it is not about being self centred or selfish. It is a way to encounter moments of peace, grounding and balance. Self care is about caring for your body, mind, community and the planet.
We want to share 10 tips with you on ways that we, as creative professionals can look out for ourselves and each other.
1. Try to incorporate analogue activities to your design practice.
Looking at a screen all day, although necessary at times, can take a toll on our energy and creativity. Analogue practices such as sketching in a notebook, cutting and pasting pieces of paper, and looking through books for design inspiration are great ways to take a break from the screen while tapping into a playful state when designing.
2. Think of a short term and a long term goal.
Goals are important tools to stay grounded when work and life become overwhelming. What is something you want to accomplish in a month? A year? 5 years? We can come up with affirmations based on these goals to bring us back to centre. Some examples of affirmations can be: I am on the right path for me. I am always learning. I believe in myself.
3. Try to take breaks throughout your day.
Short breaks away from screens of about 5-10 minutes every hour are important to get your body moving, and give your eyes a break. If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, a 5 minute guided meditation can be a great way to take a couple of deep breaths. YouTube is a really useful tool that you can use to find a multitude of guided meditations or relaxing sounds as well.
4. Keep your working area dynamic and inspiring.
Changing up what’s around you can help greatly to spark new thought connections and creativity. Changing up the books on your desk or the photo on your desktop background are simple ways to break stagnant patterns.
5. Carve out time to have fun at work!
Something we love to do at Loop is have a game afternoon or happy hour once a month. A game like skribbl is a really fun and easy activity that can be played by a whole team online. Fun activities like this help to build team connections and it can be a really great opportunity to have a laugh together!
6. Protect your energy.
It is important to communicate with your team whenever needed. Creative professionals have natural moments of fluctuation in inspiration, energy, innovation and capacity. In times where the cup is getting empty, reach out to your team to get the support needed.
7. Find tools that help you stay organized.
Each member of the team has a different way they like to keep organized. It takes trial and error to find the best method for you, but once you find it, you’ll notice it makes a huge difference in feeling grounded and on top of what’s ahead of you in your work day. Ask around for how others get organized and see what works for you!
8. Inspiration can come from unlikely places.
Our daily lives can consist of an overwhelming amount of images, designs, advertisements on a screen. Inspiration can sometimes come from the most unlikely places. Maybe it’s the colour combination from a patch of flowers you encountered while on a walk or a drawing made in chalk on the sidewalk. There is beauty to be seen in so many places.
9. Spend time in nature.
You’ve heard this before, but we’re here to say it again. Spending time outside and in nature can be a wonderful way to rest and recharge. A walk a day around the block or a longer walk around a park can be great activities to add to your routine which can help to get your body moving. There are so many sensory experiences in nature as well which can spark inspiration, and peace. Notice what you see, smell, hear when you’re outside!
10. Find activities outside of your 9-5 to be creative.
Creativity and inspiration don’t just stop once you leave your desk at the end of the day. Keeping the juices flowing and finding joy in creating after hours is a great way to find balance. Some great examples of this are cooking new and creative meals, creating a playlist, and having a solo dance party. If you can’t find the energy to keep creating after work, that is okay too! Check in with your mind and lean into what is best for you.
We acknowledge that there is privilege in stepping away, and that there are limitations and inaccessible elements to self care. Self care is a very individual experience and the things you do to fill your cup can ebb and flow over time. It is important to check in with yourself and your community in order to find support for yourself and to support others along the way.